Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Depth of His Love Astounds Me

I want to get personal for a minute here. Honestly, I just need to get this off my chest. I may publish it on the blog, I may erase it, I don't know yet.

When I say I'm an introvert, believe me I don't know a single person who can withdraw into themselves so completely as I can. Over the years I learned to put up this wall, this solid iron - three foot thick wall, around my heart. There have been very, very few people that I've even allowed to peak behind the wall. I can name and count these people on my right hand. And that was my existence for as long as I can remember.

Hidden behind a wall petrified to come out, and even more terrified to consider allowing anyone to come near the gate. I lived a life inside my head lost in my thoughts and in my books; in 10 years I've only let a few people get close, and even then not completely. I cannot tell you what started me down this path, but I've grown accustomed to it.

This past year has been the most heart wrenching year of my life. I've seen everything I've had be ripped to shreds. I've been broken and bruised. I've been betrayed by friends and family. I've had my pride torn down like never before. I've been utterly turned inside out. I hide it well, I suppose, because people marvel at how composed I tend to be considering what has been going on. But it seems even my ability to hide and control my emotions is faltering.

And you know what? It terrifies me. It terrifies me to know that I really don't have everything under control and there is nothing I can do about it other than to simply lay it at His feet. It is startling to know that God has used everything this year to break me down to the basics so that He can build me up in His love and grace. It's terrifying to see how deeply I am capable of feeling. Not just for myself, but for others. I cannot tell you how off guard I've been taken by the depths of my emotions. I thought I knew what love was before this year, but now? Now, I see that I didn't even scratch the surface. I still don't know what real love is, not when you think about it in the context of how much God loves us. I cannot begin to fathom the depth of His love.

And when I stop to really think about it I just seem to lose it. I cannot discuss Him without wanting to weep. A friend, I fear, thinks there is something wrong, because every time we are together I'm on the verge of tears. But in truth it's only because when we are together we talk about Jesus all the time and I cannot think about Him without tears coming to my eyes. I cannot talk about what He is doing in my life without my heart breaking anew.

I'm desperately in love...with Jesus. He's broken me down and softened me, I'm being molded in His hands. He's changing me like only He can. He's chipping away all the hardness that's around my heart. And I can't contain it, I can't talk about Him and not be on the verge of tears. I've found myself utterly incapable of doing so. My mind and heart are being consumed, it's remarkable. Someone so entrenched in sin, completely and utterly lost, with a heart buried under 10 feet of stone...to this! And still I know how much more He can and is doing in me, truly our salvations are miracles!

He loves me, I read that in a book today, and something inside of me snapped. I was reading about the leper that Jesus heals, and Mary Magdalene, I was reading about Peter stepping out of that boat and then sinking, I was reading about Him. About Jesus. And it really ripped me open today. He loves us. Does that mean He is complacent about our sin? No, but He loves us! He loves me so much that He has allowed this mess in my life to break me down and heal me. He loves me so much that He's delivering me from the messes I put myself in. He loves ME! The chief of sinners, me, He loves me! How that steals my heart.

He's taking this shell and filling it. Truly I was empty before, only a glimmer of hope could be found in me. But now, now I cannot tell you the hope I have. For me, for my children, for my mother, for my friends, for the homeless guy that stands by the Walmart asking for food. My heart breaks, and I never imagined it possible.

"Come to Me," He cries out. His hand extended, lovingly offering me peace and rest if only I would accept. I don't know how I've missed the passion in that for so long, He loves me. He loves you. And if we love Him, we are called to mirror His love to others. And I'm only beginning to understand the depth of that commandment. And my heart breaks.

He loves me so much that He is willing to allow me to be ripped apart to expose my sin so that I could offer it up and repent of it. He loves me so much He is teaching me what dependence on Him really is. He loves me so much and has called me to Him. He covers me with His righteousness the way I would wrap my jacket around my son's shivering shoulders, all because He loves me.

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.(Matthew 11:28-30)

No comments: